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01 August 2017, 11:44 | Christie Tate
US House of Representatives approves new sanctions
Mark Warner, vice chairman of the Senate select committee on Intelligence, said the bipartisan congressional support for increased sanctions on Russian Federation sends a message to the Kremlin that attacks on the American democracy will not be tolerated.
Russia will consider a set of measures which will depend on how the United States will react to the situation, according to the Russian official.
President Trump is expected to obediently sign the bill (which also includes new sanctions on Iran and North Korea) now on his desk because the Congress could easily override his veto by a two-thirds majority.
There were mixed signals this past weekend from the Trump administration as a new round of sanctions on Russian Federation made its way through Congress.
Trump is also under intense pressure to sign the bill due to ongoing investigations by Congress and special prosecutor Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Federation.
The House voted 419-3 in favor of the bill Tuesday, and the original Senate version passed that chamber 98-2.
The rare show of bipartisan solidarity amounts to a rebuke of the White House after administration officials such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lobbied against the sanctions bill, particularly a provision that requires Congress to approve any move to waive the measures.
"We are offering to the U.S. side to bring the numbers of USA diplomatic and technical staff working in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, in general consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to reflect the exact number of Russian diplomats and technical staff who are in the United States".
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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the voting on the bill would likely begin at 5:30 p.m.
The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. The United States-Russia relationship has become increasingly strained in the wake of U.S. intelligence agencies conclusion that the Kremlin interfered in the USA election to discredit Hillary Clinton and help President Donald Trump win the election.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote that, "with all due respect for the Senate and its ambition to tie President Donald Trump's hands on Russian Federation policy, the draft law is unacceptable from a European perspective".
"This measure is further proof of the Unites States' extremely hostile foreign policy", the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Trump has faced accusations that his administration had sought to reassure Moscow that sanctions imposed near the end of the Obama administration could be lifted under a new presidency.
The law will be sent for signature to the President of the United States Donald Trump, who has the right to veto it.
"It's impossible to endlessly tolerate this kind of insolence towards our country", he added.
"This goes beyond all reasonable bounds", Putin said.
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